The Hero’s Journey

“Why should I watch these movies? How many hours are these? That is a lot of time to commit.”

“Yeah, I know. But there is something about it that seems important.”

Trying to explain the impact, importance, and the journey of watching a classic story like the Lord of the Rings trilogy to someone who has not read the books or viewed the 9 to 12 hours of movies can feel almost impossible.

However, this story follows Joseph Cambell’s Hero’s Journey that makes up most the classic stories that seem to resonate with us. These are the stories that are told for generations.

Instead of trying to explain the Hero’s Journey, just watch this Short Video by Iskander Krayenbosch from Leiden, Netherlands. Nice work Iskander!

These stories begin with ordinary people being called out of an ordinary world, into a world that is large, filled with peril, and they are filled with doubt and fear. Ultimately, the hero overcomes fear and gets the reward, and is changed.

To make the case for watching these films, I sent a video along with one of the greatest moments of fear, doubt, peril, and ultimately triumph from a seemingly underrated hero.

In a strange coincidence, I was in a meeting within the next hour. During the meeting there was music playing in the background. Not just any music, but the soundtrack from the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings.

Somehow the memories, the journey, and the story was weaving its way into my day again. The music and memory cocktail made this meeting feel like the start of an epic story, with a hero that is being calling into a larger world, but will face doubts, fears, and setbacks, and ultimately will change the world and themselves in the process.

The handful of people I originally watched these movies with are still close and in my circle. We spent many hours together, and although didn’t actually go on that specific quest of trying to destroy a ring, have had quests of our own.

We felt ordinary.

We felt like we were thrust into a larger world.

We doubted ourselves.

We had setbacks.

We stood together.

We triumphed.

If Joseph Campbell was right, all great stories follow the same pattern. The resonance may be our own desire to live a story worth reading.

How will your story read?

Sung Heroes

It was a simple label on that bottle.

Just two words.

Unsung Heroes.

A spark of an idea.

Why do heroes go unsung?

Heroes make a difference.

Heroes make an impact.

Yet we do not sing.

Heroes reach out in our time of need.

Heroes care about us.

Yet we do not sing.

Heroes influence and change our world.

Heroes take the time to reach out.

Yet we do not…

Maybe we can change.

Maybe we can open our voices.

We can sing.

We can express gratitude and appreciation.

How about a new category: Sung Heroes.

Sung Heroes know the impact and influence in our lives.

Sung Heroes know how much we appreciate them.

Sung Heroes are encouraged to continue their journey as Heroes.

Here is my first attempt:

“Thank you for the time you spend. Thank you for the time you lend. You have been strong for me, unwavering like the branches of a strong tree. You have helped change the world for good, sometimes with something as simple as leaving me feeling understood. You are my sung hero. Yes, my sung hero.”